We all want it, but in this modern day a lot of us simply don't have it. What am I talking about? Great skin. This is a topic that's near and dear to my heart because when I was a teenager I suffered from terrible acne. I was put on antibiotics and the birth control pill and eventually, Roaccutane. But before you go down that path I urge you to first try these natural – and very powerful – solutions that work. Antibiotics and the pill actually end up contributing to the problem since gut health is such a huge part of skin health, (and both antibiotics and the pill will destroy your gut bacteria and deplete vital nutrients required for beautiful skin). And Roaccunate alters your genetic expression and kills cells in your brain, (in your hypothalamus to be exact – which can lead to HPA axis dysfunction). So instead of going down the route that I did, try these natural remedies that I've seen time and time again work for my clients.
1. Remove pro-inflammatory foods from your diet including sugar, dairy, and gluten. This is a big one. The foods you eat really do have an affect on your skin. If you're consuming foods that are causing inflammation in your body, that inflammation is going to show up on your face. This is because inflammation is a key culprit when it comes to all kinds of skin conditions. Foods that are big contributors in this regard are sugar, dairy, and gluten. Sugar and dairy both increase something called mTOR, which in turn stimulates inflammation and the production of sebum – both of which contribute to acne. Inflammation will cause a spike in insulin, (and insulin will also cause inflammation – sugar and dairy are huge insulin spikers). This rise in insulin will cause a rise in testosterone, which can also lead to acne. And the research is clear that dairy is one of the worst culprits when it comes to acne. Why is dairy so bad? Not only does it stimulate mTOR but it also contains A1 casein, which leads to inflammation ,(note: A2 casein in goat, sheep, and Jersey dairy does not cause inflammation). Additionally, dairy contains active cow hormones. These cow hormones have the ability to mess with our own hormones. Gluten has also been shown to play a role in some skin conditions, which makes sense since it's pro-inflammatory and has been shown to be an issue for pretty much everyone to one degree or another. Gluten also contributes to a leaky gut. If you remove these top offending foods you should see a pretty drastic improvement in your skin. However, if you still experience skin issues then I would suggest you think about embarking on an elimination diet. This is something I can help you with, (book a free 15 minute consult with me here).
2. Reduce stress. When we're under a lot of stress this will cause us to use up a lot more nutrients than we normally would. We then can become deficient in the various nutrients that are required for optimal skin health such as vitamins A, D, E, zinc, and vitamin C. Chronic stress will also lead to inflammation, which we know is our skin's worst enemy. Getting your stress in check is a crucial aspect if you want to have glowing, healthy skin.
3. Fix your gut. Just like everything else, our skin health really is tied very closely to the health of our gut. We want to ensure we have healthy and diverse gut bacteria in order to have clear skin. We also want to ensure we don't have a leaky gut, which will cause inflammation within our body. We've seen in the scientific literature that many skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis have strong links to poor gut health. We also know about a little something called the gut-brain-skin axis. This term is used to describe the connection between our mental state, which affects our gut health and has a knock-on effect for the state of skin. John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury were the first to propose this theory of the gut-brain-skin axis. They hypothesized that emotional states might alter the normal intestinal microflora, increase intestinal permeability, and contribute to systemic inflammation. And we know now that anxiety and stress does lead to intestinal permeability and dysbiosis, (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria) in the gut. We also know that certain skin conditions have ties to gut health. For example, rosacea has an association with SIBO, (small intestine bacteria overgrowth), inflammatory bowel disease is associated with a higher risk of developing an inflammatory skin condition such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea, and acne is associated with dysbiosis. So what can you do? Start by eliminating the foods I mentioned in point 1, reduce your stress (as this will contribute to an unhealthy gut), take a daily, good quality probiotic, and eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh. You may also have to work with a health practitioner to remove pathogens from the gut and help you to heal your gut by way of specific anti-inflammatory supplements and improving digestion, (again, this is something I can help you with. Feel free to book in for a free chat).
4. Take fish oil and consume healthy fats. In order to reduce inflammation you can take omega 3 supplements. Omega 3's are powerful anti-inflammatories. You can also consume low-mercury fatty fish such as salmon. Other healthy fats are crucial for delivering fat-soluble skin-loving vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and E. Choose from healthy fats such as avocado, ghee, organic and grass-fed butter (this is not a acne-forming dairy!), olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
5. Zinc: Zinc helps to kill bacteria and it also reduces inflammation. It's one of the best supplements hands down for reducing acne. It also helps to reduce androgens, of which an excess will contribute zits.
6. Berberine. This herbal supplement has been shown to improve acne. This is probably because it helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which lowers inflammation, and it also inhibits mTOR, which reduces inflammation and sebum production. Additionally, it can help eliminate gut pathogens and also aids in improving leaky gut.
If you have a skin condition that you want to get to the bottom of please feel free to reach out to me for a free 15 minute consultation in which you can tell me about your struggles and we can make a plan to help you get to the bottom of and resolve your skin issues once and for all.
In happiness and health,